"Must try" foods of the Caribbean?

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24 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I have read a few articles on caribbean foods (caribbean lobster, black pinapple, etc.). Would like to hear some other experiences and what you would recommend to try and definitely what you would recommend to stay away from!

Madison, WI
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Joined Jan 2007
Well, I'm the adventurous sort, and have a love of "native" cuisines. In the Caribbean (for me) that has meant:
1. Ackee and salt cod in Jamaica
2. "Jerk" in Jamaica
3. Pibil in Cozumel
4. Dogfish (aka "shark") in Cozumel
5. Conch (of course!) in Key West

DW and I are on Legend of the Seas on 2/10, so I'll be looking for other things to try. Perhaps something a little more upscale this time to make up for any deificiencies in RCCI's cuisine.
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Conch fritters and guava duff from Bahamas. YUMMM!
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Other that some of the other suggestions listed above here are a couple of others:

Jamaica curried goat
Callalloo soup (mostly Southern Carribean"
Roti - again southern Carribean
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We ate an authentic Jamaican meal with our shore excursion. Although I couldn't tell you the name of anything we ate, it was UNBELIEVABLE! I would highly recommend sampling some things, even if you might think you wouldn't like them. I was pleasantly surprised.
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Our tour guide, Chester, from Barrett Adventures took us to Scotchies, a "jerk joint" for lunch. We had Jerk pork, chicken, breadfruit, yams and something called a Fiesta (not the right word) that was a type of doughnut.

This place was definitely off the beaten tourist track. Dirt floors, thatched huts and a counter where you ordered and picked up your food. It was delicious and I didn't even need a Zantac when we got back to the ship.
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The Fiesta is called a festival. I can see how these two words are confused. It's basically a sweetened fried dumpling and is served with a lot of meals.

Also - for those of you who are interested - roti is served on many of the islands, although it is more famous in Trinidad or Guyana. Roti is a flat bread (like a torilla) that is cooked on a flat iron, filled with curried meat/vegetables and rolled up - like a burrito. I recommend it.

I also recommend dobbles (curried garbanzo beans in a split pea flour fried bread) and poulari with tamarind chutney. Both of these will be found at West Indian food spots.

Oddly enough I also love to eat Chinese food in the islands as it really tastes like fusion at its best (or worst depending).

Try ice cream in Mexico. It's really rich.

I eat the street food everywhere I go. Then I really taste the food as the locals eat. I often come back with local recipes that I cook at home.
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When my husband and I went on our Mexican Riviera cruise, we got a Frommer's guide for that area and we looked up their favorite places to eat. They were never wrong, and we had lunches that were absolutely to die for in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The places were not big touristy destinations, so we never would have found them without the travel guide. They make those for the Caribbean, too, and I highly recommend getting one before you sail. We've found awesome things to eat and are able to arrange our own shore activities as well. Frommer's are always reliable and never steer you astray (although the Blue Books are the best in Hawaii and Lonely Planet books are much better for some destinations).
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Originally posted by sanjosebarbie
When my husband and I went on our Mexican Riviera cruise, we got a Frommer's guide for that area and we looked up their favorite places to eat. They were never wrong, and we had lunches that were absolutely to die for in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The places were not big touristy destinations, so we never would have found them without the travel guide. They make those for the Caribbean, too, and I highly recommend getting one before you sail.
That is a good idea. Thank you.
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"Jerk" in Jamaica
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I had a dish called mofungo in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It seems to be comprised of a variety of meats (seafood and goat are the most authentic choices) surrounded by fried plantains. It was very good. If you are wondering where to get it, I had mine at the hotel plaza closest to the ship dock. If you are on a Royal Caribbean ship (don't know about other cruise lines), this restaurant will be recommended in the port flyer for San Juan.

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Coconut bread in St. Lucia --- fresh from a brick/clay oven -- unbelievable.
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Pigs feet souse, lambs tongue souse..... Oh and for the not so adventurous, there's chicken souse..
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Conch fritters and jerk mayonnaise in Grand Cayman - YUM!!!
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Goat meat & cubed potatoes cooked in a light curry. It is like a very thick stew. Wrap meat mixture in Roti.....YUMMY.
My in laws are from Trinidad/Tobago so this is a regular meal in our house.
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